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Finland fights misinformation by teaching media literacy in schools

The country's school system is considered a cornerstone for battling fake news
Finland school
Posted at 6:35 PM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-13 19:35:27-04

The fight against misinformation is ongoing as ubiquitous internet connectivity, and social media use has become part of our everyday lives around the globe.

As the U.S. midterms quickly approach, the battle to control misinformation and "fake news" online has regulators, lawmakers and the public demanding tech companies do all they can to control it.

In Finland, the authorities there have made the country's education system a cornerstone for beginning to teach media literacy early on.

As the BBC reported, Finland is considered to be a high-trust society. An OECD report found some 71% of the Finnish population trust the government. Compare that to the OECD average of 41%.

That was a key part of the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Markus Kokko, head of communications for the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, said, "To put it simply, Finland has a comprehensive publicly-funded security model."

The country's National Emergency Supply Agency is one of the key players in the battle against fake news there.

But it's not just an agency and students learning media literacy. The country even had a fact-checking service called, Faktabaari and multiple non-governmental organizations that help battle "fake news."

With Finland set to join NATO and work with the U.S. and other countries to try and quell Russian aggression in Ukraine, it could foreshadow moves to work together so that U.S. lawmakers draw some inspiration for how to better battle misinformation in the United States.